Connecticut River Academy: Focused on Bright Futures

Since 2014, travelers passing through East Hartford on Route 2 see a magnificent, new, four-story building situated right on the banks of the Connecticut River. If they take the exit to Riverside Drive, they can follow walkways leading to a new dock and, depending on the time of year, see the Goodwin Navigator about to embark one of its daily excursions.

Welcome to the Connecticut River Academy (CTRA), one of three magnet schools located on the Goodwin College campus! As a top high school in Connecticut, CTRA introduces students in grades nine to 12 to powerful themes with the potential to uncover pathways to their future careers.

The Connecticut River Academy’s Sustainability Theme encompasses two areas of study, Environmental Studies and Advanced Manufacturing. Environmental Studies takes full advantage of CTRA’s unique location along the Connecticut River and provides students with opportunities to experience first-hand what environmental scientists and engineers actually do. Students learn about relevant environmental and social issues such as climate change and green energy in the school’s state-of-the-art laboratories, and CTRA’s research vessel, The Goodwin Navigator, brings classes right out onto the river to learn about water quality, wildlife, and how they have played a major role in the region’s history. The surrounding wetlands and historic South Meadows become outdoor classrooms where young environmentalists come to appreciate the critical importance of stewarding the land. Nature trails throughout the Goodwin College property bring the students close enough for hands-on study and instructor-led observation.

Through Advanced Manufacturing at this technology magnet school, students explore how current advancements in technology will shape the future of our planet. Working hands-on with cutting-edge equipment and high-tech machinery such as 3-D printers and robotics, students learn how to create visions of “what could be” and turn them into realities. In a holistic approach to education, Advanced Manufacturing complements Environmental Studies by focusing on state-of-the-art STEM methods and the skills needed to manufacture in the most environmentally responsible and sustainable way.

Students at CTRA are referred to as “scholars,” and are encouraged to develop mature, independent thinking about their futures. In this diverse community of learners, curriculum and resources help students connect to their identities, the environment, and the potential to positively affect their urban surroundings, and by extension, the world. Graduates are expected to use their gifts to contribute to a just and sustainable world.

CTRA is an Early College high school that partners with Goodwin to offer unique college and career experiences, including the opportunity to earn up to 30 tuition-free college credits while still in high school — at no charge to their families. These courses are offered at Goodwin and are taught by College faculty. This pathway prepares students for success in college and beyond.

Learn why Connecticut River Academy is a top high school choice in CT by watching “A Day in the Life of the Connecticut River Academy” or visiting: